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Creativity has been on my mind a lot lately. 

I think creativity is essential and it also the thing that gets left behind when we are stressed. Creativity can enable us to step outside our present situation and consider new options. If we can tap into our creativity, we can better respond to situations rather than reacting to them. 

Here’s the thing, when our circumstances overwhelm us and we just don’t know anymore what to do, it can be hard to remember to tap into our creativity. Even if we understand it is a tool or resource for challenging times. 

When I think or talk about creativity, I don’t just mean thinking through a response to a situation. 

I mean stepping outside of it in some way. For me, this can look like getting out fabrics, playing with color and considering the next steps in a quilting project. It might look like goofing off with markers, drawing, painting or doing something messy like baking. It might also look like digging in the garden, planting something new, cutting or trimming. Visiting Goodwill, a garden shop, or a craft store – exploring for a short time. 

Creativity doesn’t have to be hard or even cost anything. 

For instance, I used to take a few minutes to cut images out of old magazines. Depending upon my focus, I might look for beautiful scenic glimpses or words that jump out at me. I might find in flipping through a magazine a story I haven’t read or glimpses of ideas I’ve never considered. I tear all those out and put them in a folder for later. 

Stressful, grief-filled, just-plain-hard seasons seem like there’s just no time for a creative break. We can be so focused on solving hard or difficult or looming problems that we just can’t imagine taking time to be creative. Pursuing something creative, even for a few minutes here and there, can feel almost unattainable. 

It is truly counterintuitive to stop in the middle of a hard day and take a creativity break. 

Yet, when I do, I usually come back to the issue or challenge with the capacity for a fresh look. In those few minutes or an hour, I’ve released all the worry and tension and anxiety enough to see whatever it is with a little bit more grace. 

Here’s an irony, by connecting to my own creativity, I’ve also uncovered more creativity. It is as if I’ve unleashed myself in a way that gets my brain moving in a new direction. I can feel restored enough to move a tiny bit forward. Creativity cracks open and gives me access to my vulnerability. When I’m doing something creative, I’m able to be generous with myself. I’m able to tap into intuition, insight, and my inner knowing. 

Take a pause today and consider what your creative pursuits are. 

When was the last time you gave yourself a creativity break? What creative thing have you always wanted to try? If it feels hard to be spontaneous about a creativity break, build one into your schedule. It will be worth it! You can choose to fuel your creativity to support yourself in this season of change. Who knows, your creativity may bring you into knowing something wonderful about the next right step! 

Let us know in the comments what you do to tap into your creativity.

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